Monday, November 18, 2013

I'm Not Giving Up My Keys

"I'll go, but I'm telling you now, I'm not giving up my keys," was the response of my 90-year-old mother when I called to remind her of her driving assessment test in the morning. "I only turn right." She exclaimed remembering that my brother taught her how to drive the three miles from her independent living apartment to his house via a route that included only right-hand turns.

I smiled, loving her feistiness. Last week, I received a call from "the home" as she calls it, to tell me that my mother was leaving a rock to prop open the fire escape door that leads to the ground floor directly across from her apartment, from which she starts her daily four loops around the building. "It's one mile!" she brags. Apparently, she's been reminded that this is a security violation but continues to prop open the door so that she can enter after her walk.

I hope when and if I reach her age that I am a bit of a rebel too. It reminds me that she is still alive, still able to fight for her "rights." I like it when her personality surfaces, when she has an opinion. I'd rather deal with her rebelliousness than the blank stare that is becoming more frequent. That confused look frightens me, her expression reminding me of the swirl of the icon on my computer screen when it needs to be rebooted.

I know we'll be having the "you're not driving anymore, mom" discussion soon. Any tips on how to make this happen and keep her whole?

This blog entry was written by Margaret Adrain, Arbor Hospice Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. You can contact Margaret by commenting below or emailing her at

1 comment:

  1. I don't have any tips, Margaret, but I admire the way in which you celebrate your mother's strengths while not denying or minimizing reality. That is a challenge for many of us in all forms of relationships.